Monday, September 24, 2007

Do conservatives really dominate Kentucky's editorial pages?

WHAS-TV 11's Mark Hebert reports on his blog about a new report issued by Media Matters that purports to show that nationally and in Kentucky conservative political columnists outnumber writers on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Media matters, a liberal media watchdog group... Oh, wait. Oops. Did I say that word? "Liberal"? Of course, I meant "progressive," as in "progressive media watchdog group." I forgot that you're not supposed to use the "L" word anymore. Liberals don't really exist. And besides, the word "liberal" is so, um, well, it's just got this very negative connotation to it.

I wonder how the word "liberal" got so unpopular? Anyway, ...

Media Matters claims that nationally syndicated conservative writers are run more often in newspapers than lib..., er progressives. Excerpt from the press release:
Conservative Syndicated Columnists Dominate Kentucky Daily Newspapers Each Week -- Conservative syndicated columnists appear a total of 54 times per week in Kentucky newspapers. Centrist columnists appear a total of 14 times, while progressive columnists appear a total of 34 times.
I have no doubt that this is true. Conservatives tend to dominate political commentary, while liberals tend to dominate the newsrooms--and the editorial boards of newspapers themselves. The difference being that conservatives views are marketed as "opinion," whereas liberal views are largely marketed as "news".

There I go again. Of course, I meant progressives. Liberals, remember, don't exist.

But Mark's headline is misleading: "Conservatives Dominate Ky. Editorial Pages." Is that what the report says? No. And if it does, it's wrong.

Note: I took my information from Mark's blog, since the report is apparently--at least from my several minute search for it--either unavailable or nicely hidden on Media Matters' website.

The report only considers nationally syndicated columnists. But syndicated columnists are only part of the content of a newspaper's editorial page. There are the staff editorials, written by the mostly liberal editorial staff of the newspaper, and the resident columnists for the particular newspapers, which also are largely liberals.

Progressive I mean.

If Media Matters were not trying so hard to find what it wants to find, it would add an additional study of the political registration of newspaper staff in this country--and in Kentucky.

But don't hold your breath.


Anonymous said...

Martin: I think the most correct descriptive term is "regressive". The liberals want to take America back to the failed socialistic tendencies of the 1960's and 70's. Europe is just now starting to go conservative. Meanwhile the liberals want to emulate Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and LBJ.

Brian Goettl

solarity said...

The only way I can figure Media Matters to be factually correct is if they included every podunk newspaper in the state. The vast majority of smalltown Ky papers are conservative and tend to run conservative columnists. However, the papers that reach the most eyeballs are clearly left-leaning and proud of it.

If Media Matters truly sought to shed informative light on the state of KY journalism, they would use circulation numbers as the basis for the story. To do otherwise seems to me to betray the sort of slanted perspective that you would think an outfit such as Media Matters would scrupulously seek to avoid.